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Zlatan Ibrahimovic was “proud” to become Serie A’s oldest goalscorer, but it was little consolation after Milan were beaten 3-1 at Udinese.
Aged 41 years and 166 days, Ibrahimovic’s penalty in first-half stoppage time at Stadio Friuli saw him overtake former Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta (41 years and 25 days – May 2007).
Ibrahimovic – who captained Milan – slammed his spot-kick down the middle of the goal after being fortunately allowed to retake it, having seen his initial effort saved by Marco Silvestri before the VAR ordered it to be taken again after Udinese’s Beto had encroached.
That equalised Roberto Pereyra’s ninth-minute strike, but Beto restored Udinese’s lead just two minutes after Milan levelled, before Kingsley Ehizibue wrapped things up in the second half.
“It would have been much better if Costacurta had kept this record,” Ibrahimovic said to Sky Sport Italia after the game. “I am proud to enter the history of this club which is a great club where many great players have passed and that means a lot to me.
“This goal didn’t bring three points in my first as captain and unfortunately the game didn’t go as we wanted. I felt very well, I haven’t played in the starting line-up for 14 months, the important thing is to feel good and if I’m as good as today, I can play, I have no doubts about that.”
1 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the oldest goalscorer in the Serie A history (41 years and 166 days), overtaking Alessandro Costacurta (41 years and 25 days, in May 2007). Historical. #UdineseMilan pic.twitter.com/kXfx6yhJLy
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 18, 2023
The Rossoneri have suffered seven defeats in the league, five of which have come in their last nine games, having lost just four on their way to winning the Scudetto last season.
Ibrahimovic suggested that teams have been putting a bit more effort in against Milan this season as the defending champions.
“Playing as the Italian champions means that each team faces you as if it were a final, it’s different from last year,” he said. “This year we have more pressure in all matches, it’s normal but you have to be ready because everyone wants to beat you.
“This team doesn’t have the experience of playing as champions of Italy, we can’t have the same high performance in all the games, but that’s not an excuse, it’s just an explanation to understand the situation.”